DB Engineering & Consulting USA, a consortium of DB International US, DB, Alternate Concepts, and HDR will be recommended to the California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) board of directors for contract award on at their next meeting on October 19.

Four shortlisted bidders submitted proposals to CHSRA on September 6. DB Engineering achieved the highest ranking in the subsequent assessment, followed by Renfe in second place, FS First Rail Group in third, and China HSR ETO Consortium in fourth.

The early train operator will act as consultant advising CHSRA on the procurement of rolling stock, track, systems and stations as well as optimising the capital, operating, maintenance and whole life costs of these assets.

Other responsibilities include providing support on station design and operational planning, train interiors, fares integration and interoperability with connecting operators, security and safety, operations control systems and train dispatching, and opportunities to maximise revenue.

The winning bidder will also help CHSRA to develop ridership and revenue forecasts, and operating and maintenance costs. It will help to select a revenue collection system, and develop a marketing and branding plan.

The early train operator will be paid on the completion of specified milestones with the possibility of performance-based incentives. CHSRA has capped total expenditure for the deal at $US 30m.